Learning to let go is a difficult thing, and actually letting go can be even harder. There is only so much tension that can build up in someone before an unhealthy type of self-destruction, that lethal kind of implosion from within that crushes the spirit and breaks a person, happens: I prefer it not to come to that and have opted for an overwhelming catharsis instead. I want to release a great deal of what has been built up, to cleanse myself of past trauma, and to be able to walk on into the future with brighter, more open eyes -- and a smile reflecting the happiness inside.
For over two decades of my life, I had aspired to be a successful composer of music, primarily electronic and TECHNOlogical in nature, hence my favorite term "techno music". With that mechanical sensibility has always come a human responsibility, however, and it carried me far until all that ended for me in May of 2004 when I was struck down by hyperacusis and my ears no longer worked as they could or should or would. That career was left behind like a city in flames, with me taking on a new existence in the online world of Second Life as "Torley Torgeson", and subsequently, as my daughter "Torley Jr." from a future timeline. (To be continued...) But every so often, I was tempted to see if the figurative fires had actually incinerated everything permanently or if there was anything, anything left at all.
I have many dreams. Yesterday, a particularly meaningful one struck me, and led me to travel back to this city in my neuroscape, braving the distance along the way and the harsh climes that were no longer welcoming. The air was acrid, the skies a sullen gray. When I faced my fears and came back to the towering treasure of sonic wonders I had once lived in, I discovered that much to my surprise, even with the pain ringing through the sides of my head, that not all had been lost: hardly! Now, while I cannot continue to produce music in the present, what I have done -- past work, established history -- still stands and is recorded on many gigabytes of digital storage. Memories recorded in cold 1s and 0s, yet played back with the warmest of tones and evoking positive emotions.
It was several weeks ago that I decided to shut down my synthesizers and pull the plugs, nullify the juice that had powered them for several years continuously. They weren't being used, and I was sad. It wasn't that I'd given up hope -- much to the contrary, in fact -- I simply wanted to stop looking back so I could keep looking forward. To new hopes and dreams. But as I alluded to, the past has a funny way of coming back to get ya, and thoughts have occurred to me that what I once saw as a curse became a blessing in the due course of time's passage, much of which I have blogged about and am still compiling as lives -- both my First and Second -- go on...
So yesterday, I started blowing off the pixeldust and digging through the data, and came up with no less than 230 FULL tracks that I had mixed and mastered before my ears went bad, provided for you in the ever-popular MP3 format for your luxurious convenience. Download and play. Simple. That's almost 16 hours of Torley-techno music for you to enjoy... and then some. (And not even close to my total historical output -- heck, if I could find where I left some of my old cassette tapes containing prepubescent recordings! -- but I digress, and all of these are finished works from initial idea by brainstorm to the end of the applicable process.) Some of them you may have heard before (bits 'n' pieces), but the overwhelming majority you haven't, as they've been unreleased until now. Realized from a timeframe of my late teens to shortly before my 23rd birthday, the music is high-quality, sometimes lo-fi, but always representative of my personal creative expression and unique eccentricities.
Please allow me to embellish and elaborate to help guide you in, style-wise. My music is about catchy tunes. Melodies you can hum and/or whistle with rhythms that'll get your head nodding, your feet tapping along. I've long embraced diversity, and in this "final selection", you'll find: orchestral breakbeat epics, fragile ambient soundscapes, improvised piano solos, 4-to-the-floor peaktime pounders, progressive house builders, minimal techy starkness, angular tributes to 8-bit video games, crunk hip-hop instrumentals, futuristic-yet-retro techno-pop, quasi-Asian syncopations, lush beatless convolutions (with watermelons!), arpeggiated trance anthems, neo-tribal fusion grooves, straightfoward rockers -- yeahhh guitar solos!, jazzy acid workouts, love songs, songs about babies being born, songs dedicated to my dead Dad, songs about nothing in particular but feature intricate drum machine programming layered with virtuosic keyboard performances that you'll get a kick out of, and more. And more. And more! I could keep sprouting off labels, but while these words describe the music, they aren't the music.
So please, if you will... with over two hundred pieces of the puzzle, if a name catches your fancy, evokes your imagination, go for it! And travel from there. Give it a chance to grow, to take hold, and see what my music means to you. I wish you well in your explorations, and now that I can't hold back, I open up and give this gift to you. In hopes that it will make your days happier, your nights dancier, and your life a little brighter (if I may be so bold). After all, what good is music if it isn't heard?
A few more words: feel free to demix, remix, rearrange, and revision my audio-visions. Enjoy passing them on to your family and friends across the Internet, since sharing is caring! Creative Commons licensing info is provided, and a whole lotta thanx to the Internet Archive peeps for helping me to store this collection. If you have any questions, commentary, or other things which rippleshock guided you to to say, you're free to get in touch. I'm here.
Even if I couldn't hear anymore, I'm grateful that you can.
That being said, thank you graciously for listening. :)
I'm moving on to my new life now . . . =o)
Ex-Technomusicologist Torley Wong
aka Torley Torgeson in SecondLife.com
WWW.TORLEY.COM / TORLEY@GMAIL.COM
more info @ WWW.TORLEY.COM
Torley's Second Life blog
January 11, 2009 Subject:
Glad to see your work preserved!
Torley, I am so happy to find your work here on the Internet Archive. This is why the Internet Archive exists, really.
I've (intermittently) followed your career since you first released A New Piano. (Which is what my alarm is set to wake me with in the morning!)
I was so sorry to hear of your difficulties with hyperacousis, and have hoped against hope you would someday be able to return to composing.
But this is even more material than I could have hoped for. With this many pieces, I expect I'll get to dig through and see a bit more of your creative process, which will be very pleasant.
As you pursue your career on SL, please retain in your heart that your first career was worthwhile, and successful on its own terms. I (and my daughter) will always remember your music.
(And maybe someday I'll finally join Second Life and say hello to you there, too!)
November 28, 2006 Subject:
That was the saddest story I ever heard, it almost made me cry, *actually crying but doesn't want to admit it*, I think its cool that one of your songs made it on to flashflashrevolution. i think my mp3 player is gonna be jammed with your mp3's from now on.
November 19, 2006 Subject:
Sorry to hear about your loss of hearing as a fellow musician I can imagine that would be hard. I have listened to you for sometime after one night finding you on mp3.com years ago. I really enjoy xristospiano, the techno version of this has fueled many late nights of projects in my life.
Thank you for making these available.
September 10, 2006 Subject:
WOW, this is a full day's worth of incredible composition.
March 25, 2005 Subject:
Wow! Worth a few listens...
I have now chosen half a dozen of the "Final Selection" and I think this is an innovative introduction to a guy who was, until very recently, one of the masters in his field. They are somewhat hard to download from Windows Media Player, but particularly good to play with any of the visual ambiences. I find the first Lude a really romantic and happy song with haunting minor keys, and I am looking forward to the moods and feelings of the series. Aspergia would be really intriguing to listen to. In general the three I have listened to have a lot of changing energy. It would be emotionally poignant to listen to the ones about the composer's father, as well as the changes in his own life.